SANGHYANG DEDARI DANCE AND SAPUH LEGER PUPPET PERFORMANCE: Ritual Arts in Bali during Pandemics
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The Covid-19 pandemic which started in Wuhan, China at the end of 2019 which then spread to the other parts of the world, has led to the revival of sacred and spiritual rituals as an effort to curb the pandemic in addition to putting in place strict implementation of health protocols. Such efforts are also made by the people of Bali, Indonesia, by holding the ritual dance Sanghyang Dedari and Wayang Sapuh Leger (Sapuh Leger Puppet) performance. Both rituals are believed to be an antidote to disease outbreaks, including the Covid-19 pandemic. The purpose of this article is to analyze the relevance of ritual arts in Bali in strengthening the mental health of the Balinese people amid the pandemic. The objects of this research are the Sangyang Dedari dance in the traditional village of Cemenggaon of Sukawati, Gianyar, Bali and the Wayang Sapuh Leger performance in Bali. The analysis was carried out using the ritual theory and the habitus theory. The results of the analysis revealed that the ritual dance Sanghyang Dedari and the Wayang Sapuh Leger (Sapuh Leger Puppet) performance are held from generation to generation, as a form of a social habitus of the Balinese people in developing collective positive mental resilience. The ritual art performance takes place without structures (i.e. without any creation patterns, floor patterns, and stage settings), and driven by social habitus, namely the belief system, control rituals, and ritual ideology. The Sanghyang Dedari dance and Wayang Sapuh Leger are controlled by rituals performed to help the community to cope with their fear and worries of the pandemic. The rituals carried out during the pandemic are ways to release frustration and stress due to physical distancing and social restrictions put in place during the pandemic. This practice is aimed at building collective mental strength.